Bears quarterback Andy Dalton, who is out Sunday with a bone bruise on his left knee, could miss an additional week or two depending on how quickly he recovers, league sources told ESPN.
Dalton has a bone bruise from his femur and tibia colliding, according to a source. Dalton did not suffer damage to any cartilage or ligaments and does not need surgery, but his return will be determined by how quickly the bone bruise heals.
The Bears have not placed Dalton on injured reserve, which would mandate that the 11-year veteran miss at least three games. There is hope within the organization that Dalton will return sooner than that three-week threshold.
Bears coach Matt Nagy said this past week that Dalton would remain Chicago's starter when healthy. The franchise entered the season planning to stick with Dalton as long as possible, allowing Fields time to grow during his rookie year.
Fields, who Chicago selected with the No. 11 overall pick in this year's NFL draft, said Wednesday that he is ready to start Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, emphasizing that he has been "preparing for this moment for a long time."
Dalton, who turns 34 next month, suffered the knee injury last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals after landing awkwardly on the Chicago sideline following a scramble. His left knee appeared to buckle, and the three-time Pro Bowler immediately pointed to Fields to enter the game.
Fields went 6-for-13 passing for 60 yards with an interception and rushed 10 times for 31 yards against the Bengals. He threw two passes, both completions, in a Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.